Tips for Outdoor Weed Seed Selection: Choosing Varieties for Outdoor Cultivation
Marijuana has passed a long way from a banned, illegal, and highly discriminatory drug to a medicinal and recreational remedy. Its legalization is moving fast forward in the USA, with many states allowing users with various medical needs to access dried weed buds and cannabis-infused products in many licensed dispensaries. What's more, people can now grow a couple of plants for their personal use, whether indoors in a growing tent or outdoors, in their backyards.
No matter which mode of cultivation you select, you should be aware of the risks and challenges your plants may encounter throughout their development process. This article shares pro tips and insightful hacks for dealing with outdoor growing. Read on to find out how to choose the best outdoor marijuana seeds and enjoy bountiful yields without surprises.
Why Grow Weed Outdoors?
At first glance, planting your seeds outdoors may seem intimidating. Unexpected weather changes, the inability to predict the climatic conditions for the next 3 months, and the risk of wasting expensive seeds – all play a role in the reluctance to entrust your weed yields to chance and nature. However, putting all these concerns aside, you should consider the following benefits of outdoor cultivation:
- More natural method. Cultivation of any plant is more natural and beneficial outdoors. That's how plants are used to growing, and they've been doing it well for millennia. Indoor planting is never better for a plant; it’s a compromise for people unable to grow their plants outdoors.
- Optimal mix of weather conditions. Following the topic of natural growing, outdoor space is ideally fitted for the optimal growth of plants, provided that your weed seeds are chosen with proper regard to your climatic conditions.
- Unrestricted growing space. Weed plants are sure to develop much better and grow to their full potential once they have unrestricted space for root expansion. You can use large pots outdoors to ensure your plants' energy will be streamlined into bud generation instead of the root system. Still, plants with a vast and healthy root structure are sure to give higher yields and withstand more weather fluctuations.
- No height limitations. Suppose you're a fan of Sativa, looking for weed's energizing and stimulating effect. In this case, you may get into real trouble with indoor growing setups, as Sativa plants can reach 3+ meters high. In this case, outdoor growing is ideal, as you won't need to trim your plants once they reach the ceiling of your growing room.
- Rich cannabinoid and terpene content. Lab tests suggest that weed grown outdoors is much richer in THC, CBD, and other essential components because the plants get natural nutrients and enjoy natural sunlight.
- Low maintenance requirements. As a rule, outdoor growing turns into a no-brainer if you choose the seeds correctly and avoid pests, diseases, and tedious care procedures.
Main Parameters of Seeds Suitable for Outdoor Cultivation
Thus, if you’ve managed to overcome the doubts and hesitations and are ready to go for your first outdoor cultivation project, here is our seed selection guide. Obviously, the quality and characteristics of seeds determine the outcomes of your grow to a large degree; weak seeds with little tolerance to weather fluctuations may die quickly. Here are the key parameters for outdoor seed choice.
As soon as you plant your germinated seeds or young plants outdoors, they get under numerous influences, and not all of them are positive. Naturally, the plants will get fresh air and natural sunlight, which is excellent for their growth. But together with those positives, they will be affected by day and night temperature fluctuations, abrupt humidity changes because of mist, rainfall, or droughts, and varied pests and diseases circulating in the open environment. That’s why you should initially focus only on the seeds of hardy strains immune to pests, mold, diseases, and weather fluctuations. Only such seeds will survive any changes in your environment (we don’t speak about calamities or extreme weather changes here).
It’s pretty easy to keep everything under control in a small growing tent you can place indoors or in your garage, perhaps even in your office. But once you plant weed outdoors (sometimes in a private spot in the woods, not even in your backyard), the plants get much harder to reach on a daily basis. Thus, we recommend using only seeds of low-maintenance strains to simplify your life and free you from everyday watering and trimming. Read the reviews of mature growers online and pick the seeds that grow into independent, healthy plants that don't need much input on your part. This way, you can live a hassle-free life and wait for the precious yields instead of spending days and nights on your plantation.
Again, outdoor growing is pretty unpredictable, and sometimes things may go wrong. A week of rainfall or extreme heat can kill several plants in your garden, thus leaving you without a fair portion of your expected harvest. To avoid the full loss of the weed stock for the coming winter, you should opt for high-yielding strains that will cover your weed needs even if you lose 50% of your crops.
It’s optimal to choose seeds that contain a bit of Ruderalis genetics. As a rule, Ruderalis is associated with autoflowering features (which are also fine for outdoor cultivation), but it’s also responsible for plants’ resistance to all major stressors, like heat, rainfall, disease, mold, and pests. Thus, if you choose seeds with Ruderalis genetics, you can rest assured of a hassle-free, easy maintenance process and a lack of problems with your crops. Besides, autoflower seeds with a part of Ruderalis in them grow fine in northern climate zones – a region where cannabis cultivation may be rather complicated by a lack of intense sunlight, lower temperatures, and early autumn colds.
Though it's self-obvious, let us reiterate the basics of seed choice – you should take proper care of your seeds' vitality and healthy appearance regardless of the strain or seed type you choose. Your seeds should be dark brown or black and look full, hardy, and wax-covered. Don’t choose pale and green-colored seeds, as they have low germination chances. Make a pressure test before buying seeds; your seeds should be hard and solid, without emptiness under the shell.
Feminized and Autoflower Varieties
The final tip for outdoor seed selection is the focus on feminized or autoflower seeds. Here's everything depends on your climate and experience level. Outdoor cultivators living in warm, tropical climates can opt for feminized seeds, as they guarantee an all-female crop and usually yield greater harvests. However, they take a bit longer to wait for the yields, which is often risky in cooler climate conditions. Another option is the autoflower seed variety – these are fast-flowering seeds with short life cycles, allowing growers to collect two yields per season or harvest the weed before the nights get too cold for optimal bud development. In any case, don’t buy regular seeds for outdoor cultivation; it’s much harder to isolate male plants from the plantation once the first gender signs surface on your crops.
Good Seeds Determine High Yields
As you can see, choosing weed seeds for outdoor cultivation is an art in itself. Don’t leave this process to chance; investing a bit of time and effort into proper seed choice will guarantee a hassle-free cultivation period and rich yields. Follow these tips and enjoy bumper harvests even with little growing experience.
The author of this article is Lana Braslavska, an expert in cannabis cultivation and a passionate researcher of the cannabis market. Lana is a blogger at AskGrowers, sharing her insightful tips, findings, and knowledge with the readers to help them embark on risk-free, productive weed cultivation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nurlana Alasgarli is a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of creative writing experience. Having lived and experienced all over the world, there are many writing genres that Nurlana follows, including nature, arts and crafts and the outdoors. Nurlana brings life to content creation, captivating her readers.